How does rising atmospheric CO2 affect marine organisms?

Learn how plants respond to higher atmospheric CO2 concentrations

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Abscisic acid
A plant hormone involved in the closure of stomata, which is often found in high concentrations within water-stressed leaves.

Acclimation
A phenomenon exhibited by some plants following long-term exposure to elevated CO2 levels that is synonymous with down regulation.  It is commonly characterized by decreases in leaf rubisco and nitrogen levels.

Acclimatize
To adjust to changes in environmental variables.

Aerial fertilization effect
The typically-enhanced growth response of a plant to an increase in the air's CO2 concentration.

Aerogeophysical data
Remotely sensed geologic data such as airborne ice-penetrating radar profiles, aeromagnetic and airborne gravity data, satellite imagery, and laser altimetry.

Aerosols
Small liquid or solid particles suspended in the atmosphere.

Agar medium
A gelatinous substance containing essential plant nutrients.

Albedo
The reflective quality of a surface, expressed as the ratio of reflected solar radiation to incoming solar radiation.

Alga
One of a group of algae typically found in water or damp areas.

Annual
A term used to describe a plant that completes its life cycle within a 12-month period, i.e., it germinates from seed, grows and produces its own seed within one year.

Anthesis
The event in the plant life cycle when mature flowers open in preparation for pollination.

Anthropogenic
Having to do with man, or caused by humans.

Antioxidant
A substance that inhibits destructive oxidation events in an organism.

Antisense RNA
An engineered RNA transcript that will pair with, and effectively neutralize, a specific "sense" RNA transcript produced by a cell.  Thus, the sense transcript will have reduced expression and influence in a cell.

Aquifer
Any underground water-bearing geologic stratum.

Arachnids
Arthropods with two body segments and four pairs of legs, including spiders, scorpions and mites.

Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi
A class of fungi that develops symbiotic relationships with plant root systems.  Arbuscular fungi penetrate plants roots and form branched feathery lobes within them called arbuscules.  These structures are considered to be the sites of fungal-plant nutrient transfer.

Arbuscule
The main fungal structure involved in the symbiotic exchange of carbon and nutrients between a host plant and its associated fungi.

Arctic Oscillation
The Arctic Oscillation (AO) is a major source of intra-seasonal variability over the United States, the North Atlantic and Europe during winter.  It modulates the circulation pattern over the middle and high latitudes, thereby regulating the number and intensity of significant weather events affecting the U.S.  The positive phase features a strong polar vortex, with the mid-latitude jet stream shifted to the north of its normal position.  Associated with this phase is an increase in the occurrence of extreme warm days over much of the contiguous United States.  The negative phase features high-latitude blocking, frequently in the vicinity of Greenland and/or Alaska.  Associated with this phase, there is an increase in the occurrence of extreme cold days, especially from the Great Plains to the Southeast.

Arthropods
Animals characterized by a segmented body and jointed legs, including crustaceans, arachnids and insects.

Aseptically
Performed under sterile conditions free from biological contamination.

Atmospheric CO2 enrichment
The process of increasing the carbon dioxide content of the atmosphere.